Washington, Aug 23 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its third Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a large, versatile military transport aircraft capable of carrying heavy, oversize loads long distances and landing on rough and unprepared surfaces.
The plane which departed for India Aug 20 from Boeing's Long Beach, California, facility joins the first and second India C-17 airlifters, which arrived in June and July, respectively.
Boeing is on track to deliver two more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. Once India receives its full complement of ten aircraft, it will be the largest C-17 operator outside the US. In operation since 1991, the C-17 has been used in humanitarian and military missions around the world and recently surpassed 2.6 million flight hours.
It can carry a cargo of wheeled US Army vehicles in two side-by-side rows, including the US Army's main battle tank, the M-1. Three Bradley infantry-fighting vehicles comprise one load. It can drop a single 60,000-lb. payload, with sequential load drops of 110,000 lb.
The transporter can seat 54 on the sidewall and 48 in the centreline. It can even back up a two-percent slope, the company said.
Boeing has delivered 256 C-17s, including 222 to the US Air Force and a total of 34 to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace.